-finished the new production ‘Paradise’ for Jody Watley tonight – complete with strings arranged and played by the one n only Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (official) – Ms Watley’s new EP of the same name (Paradise) will be out soon and has a second production also by me called ‘Dawn’ – with drums by NZ’s Frank Booker. soon come! our first virtual collaboration was when i did the keys for Phil Asher’s Restless Soul remix of ‘Photographs’, followed by my own remix of Jody’s ‘Midnight Lounge’ for The Makeover. We followed that up with ‘Tonight’s the Night’ on Strictly Rhythm Records… it’s a pleasure to be keeping the collaboration going! — with Jody Watley.
“Paradise is basically a party record created and inspired in classic soul dance records in many ways..a celebration of feel good music, with lyrics that make you feel like getting out, or turning up the volume in your car. Paradise is about living life and creating special moments today with music as the motivator, the backdrop. I’m very much about that – to remind people of that. There’s enough time to worry and other heavy things. In these songs I want everyone to feel an sense of escape and joy from beginning to end. Paradise is about the celebration of being alive and having a good time – especially for my core diehard fans who have been with me no matter what and no care that I’m older. They know I’m still fabulous and so are they!” – Jody Watley
‘Paradise’ – with co-production by Mark De-Clive Lowe, Count De Money, Soulpersona and Luminodisco.
I believe I’m still a rebel in many ways — always on my own path no matter what. You can’t break new ground if you stay in the box. It’s common for artists to do fashion layouts now — in the early days of my solo career, it was not. I pushed to be in these magazine because my Mom always had fashion magazines in the house. I remember seeing Beverly Johnson, Iman and later Naomi Campbell. I wanted to do that – there was no black artist at the time who was being featured like this. I’m proud to have quietly made it acceptable and coveted. This was my second feature of 3.
Jody Watley. Harper’s Bazaar November 1991. Photographed by Andrea Blanch
Harper’s Bazaar, November 1991. Interview:
Love Interest ” A lot of people think love songs don’t count,” says Jody Watley. “There’s a feeling that of you’re not singing about the homeless or the environment, you’re not singing about anything that matters.: But, the stunning dance diva explains, “The environment at home is what we bring into the world and we need to look at that before we can solve our other problems.” On her new album “Affairs of the Heart”, Watley is trying to weave her social concerns into the kind of infectious love songs that have filled two platinum albums and won her a 1987 Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
Watley wrote or co-wrote most of the songs on ‘Heart’ and also tried her hand at executive producing for the first time. “Win or lose, this one is my baby. Since her early days in the 80’s trio Shalamar, Watley’s reputation has rested on a rebellious fashion sense and a taste for up-tempo,, sexy grooves, but this album marks a shift in emphasis to more sophisticated ballads. She claims the change was inspired by the charming ultranontraditional version of Cole Porter’s “After You, Who?” she contributed to last years Red, Hot and Blue AIDS charity project. “I think I hadn’t challenged myself enough before that”, she says. “Now I’m trying to grow up as an artist.”
This more refined sound is also reflected in a more glamorous look. Just as she sees her love songs as an opportunity to for social commentary, Watley considers style a reflection of something more lasting that the latest fashion. “I passed a high school the other day,” she recalls, “and the kids outside looked terrible, like they had no pride in themselves. I think it would be great if they had someone they looked up to who had a classic quality, because they’re the next generation, and if their minds are anything like the way they’re dressed, we’re in trouble.” With “Affairs of the Heart”. Jody Watley may become our first role model. – Alan Light
The title song “Paradise” is written with the brilliant and diverse Mark De Clive-Lowe. For my die-hard fans, you’ll know this isn’t the first time we’ve collaborated. If you missed it, check out my release “The Makeover’ for the Midnight Lounge (MDCL remix) as well as Mark De-Clive Lowe featuring Jody Watley on “Tonight’s The Night.” The title song “Paradise”, thanks to Mr. De Clive-Lowe will also include a splash of strings by the one and only Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. Mark and I also collaborate on “The Dawn”, another dance-floor gem from “Paradise.” I can’t tell you how happy I am and I want you all to feel it too. It’s in the music!
Jody Watley. DETAILS Magazine, Music Issue July 1992
‘Affairs of The Heart’ era. The artists had to give a quote about ‘underwear’ – in my case a basic white tank top- which remains a staple in my wardrobe.
“If you’re just making a fashion statement without making a difference, that’s a travesty. As artists, we all have to assume responsibility for the messages we send out. I like to make statements in my underwear it has a touch of the rebelliousness that’s always been present in music.”
Of course, my diehard fans have already supported the single “Nightlife”, fallen in love with the various video’s including the Dave Doyle Remix, watch: Here
However working outside of the mainstream means it’s a constant process of educating the fair weathered, those who have lost touch with me because they only look to the mainstream, and as well a younger eclectic fan base who may like the music just because it’s good and not based on my past. So I’ll keep posting, and encouraging you to help spread the word, after all as I wrote for “Nightlife” – it’s in the music!
Pick up the original Count De Money mix, Moto Blanco, Jodie Harsh, Dave Doyle, Soulpersona Disco Mix, Soulpersona Classic Soul Mix, or Luminodisco mix. All are available at iTunes, Amazon, Beaport and various digital outlets globally. 12″ vinyl of the original mix extended versions are also available at my online boutique. If you missed it “Nightlife” was Top 20 (#18) Hot Billboard Dance Club Play, and #5 Urban and #6 Commerical Pop on Music Week in the UK for those who are chart watchers, again – it’s really about quality music and artistic evolution, always moving forward.
Thank you for your continued support on the musical journey. You the people – are my Clear Channel, Radio One, mainstream gossip blogs and so on – and helping spread the word.